Saturday, August 10, 2013

All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry

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All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry

Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin

Release Date: July 30, 2013

The first book in an exciting YA trilogy, this is the story of two best friends on the verge of a terrifying divide when they begin to encounter a cast of strange and mythical characters.

Set against the lush, magical backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, two inseparable best friends who have grown up like sisters—the charismatic, mercurial, and beautiful Aurora and the devoted, soulful, watchful narrator—find their bond challenged for the first time ever when a mysterious and gifted musician named Jack comes between them. Suddenly, each girl must decide what matters most: friendship, or love. What both girls don’t know is that the stakes are even higher than either of them could have imagined. They’re not the only ones who have noticed Jack’s gift; his music has awakened an ancient evil—and a world both above and below which may not be mythical at all. The real and the mystical; the romantic and the heartbreaking all begin to swirl together, carrying the two on journey that is both enthralling and terrifying. And it’s up to the narrator to protect the people she loves—if she can.(from Goodreads)


I felt a little conflicted after reading this novel, my feelings were a bit muddled. I wasn’t at all sure of what I had just finished reading either, was it Greek mythology or just some girls that were pretty wasted all the time. But somehow it still left me very interested and thinking about it long after that I’m pretty sure I would read the sequel just to find out more about the mythology and get a bit more backstory.

All Our Pretty Songs is mainly about our main character, the narrator who we never get to know her name at all but whom I felt had a very unhealthy obsession with her best friend Aurora. These two have been friends since they were kids and have done pretty much everything together, they were closer than sisters sometimes and even though I thought it was an innocent type of friendship at the beginning, around the middle part of it, the narrator’s obsession with Aurora and how often she was always “worried” about her started sounding a little too creepy for me. That girl seriously could not stop thinking and talking about her! It became really annoying and was driving me so crazy,  that I contemplated actually dropping this one but somehow something made me want to continue reading. It wasn’t until Jack came into the picture that things started to get interesting.

There were quite a few things that bothered me about this book, not only the weird obsession these girls had for each other but also all the drugs, the unprotected sex with strangers and alcohol use in the novel, the way the mothers were either wasted just like them or didn’t even care that their daughters were out all night and didn’t come home for days. Both of the parents were pretty horrible, and I hate that one of the moms was given the excuse of being that way because she was supposedly too young when her daughter (the narrator) was born, that just sort of pissed me off. I guess it sounds like I just took this book way too seriously but so many things about it annoyed me and kind of grossed me out a bit. Now once things started to get a little out of control and the narrator begins to experience some really weird stuff,  I got a lot more interested in it and gave it a chance. I knew there was supposed to be something in it besides the drugs, sex and alcohol but it sure did take forever to get to that part! I was really into the last third of the book and it held my attention without having me roll my eyes for one bit but the ending came too soon and left me wondering if there would be a sequel and if I would be brave enough to read it just to get more of that otherworldly part of the story, and to tell you the truth I have a feeling that I will. Even though I did not like most of the novel I would still read the sequel just because those last few pages made the book worth it for me. I’m sure this book is not for everyone as I thought it wouldn’t be for me while reading it, it was a lot darker and much more open minded than I expected.

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

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OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Released on July 23, 2013

When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that he’s her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kind of-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again.
But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea can’t stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magnetic... and has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a lot about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say she’s obsessed.
Bea tells herself she’s got it all under control. But this isn’t a choice, it’s a compulsion. The truth is, she’s breaking down...and she might end up breaking her own heart.(from Goodreads)


I was not at all prepared for what I got when I started reading OCD Love Story. I expected to maybe get a girl that was a bit obsessed with a guy and became a little creeper stalker but I didn’t think I would get so much more than that and not at all a typical love story but something deeper and much more meaningful.

In the story we have poor Bea who is this crazy tough acting girl that seems a little quirky at the beginning until you get deeper into the novel and you begin to realize that she has serious problems. At first I wasn’t aware at all that OCD was anything else besides people being a bit obsessive over certain things, like having to do things a certain number of times or washing their hands constantly. Well, just like Bea I was in for a good amount of learning in this book, while reading it we begin to see the other side of Bea, the side that she tries to hide well but is not completely successful at, the side that she doesn’t fully want to accept as a problem.

I was completely taken by surprised by this book and how much I ended up liking it even though it wasn’t at all what I thought it would be. Once I got to know Bea a bit more and saw her daily routines and all the things that went through her head and how hard it was for her to not do things a certain way, I felt horrible for her, you can’t help but want to hug this girl tightly. I couldn’t imagine how exhausting life could be for someone with OCD like Bea. The novel became more about her and less about the supposedly love story I expected to get from it, and honestly I didn’t even care, I was so immersed in Bea’s thoughts and feelings through the novel that I was glued to every word and had a tight grip on the book. The well written characters and the development of the story helped a lot, the emotions came through so vividly that I even cried for this poor girl and even felt like I thought she was feeling, desperate and helpless. This was such an intense novel for me but so great that I felt a bit liberated by the end of it and also a bit sad to let Bea go. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a contemporary that’s both entertaining but will also make your brain work. I’m looking forward to reading more from the talented Corey Ann Haydu.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Books That I Wish Could’ve Had Sequels

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Top Ten Tuesday is a list feature that was created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they give you a different question or topic where you can answer by listing your top ten choices.

This week’s topic is:  Top Ten Books I Wish Could Have Had Sequels. This one was kind of hard because there’s so many series out there and that seems to be almost all I read but I came up with a few, not quite ten, but some that even though ended just fine, I wanted more from them.

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I just read this one recently and even though it was a great stand alone it was just haunting, I definitely wanted more from this creepy and crazy fictional characters.

 

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Wild Awake was another pretty amazing book that just blew me away and left me thinking about it long after reading it and wishing I could have more of it.

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This book took me a while to get into but once I did it became something beautiful and engrossing, heartbreaking that left me wanting to follow Maddie’s journey even after the book ended.

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I have to admit even though I really liked this book the ending was kind of abrupt. I was left wondering if Lexi would get everything she wanted and if her mother would change after the story ended. I was left wanting more.

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Even though the ending was perfect in this novel, which is one of my favorites. I wanted to get more of Oliver and Hadley, I loved these two characters so much!

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This is another favorite, my first David Levithan book and one that was just so much fun to read that I didn’t want to let go of the two main characters, I wish we could’ve gotten a sequel of some sort.

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This one I read long ago but I remember that it left me wondering about the main character and the “love interest” in the story, and what would’ve happened after the book ended. It was a great one.

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Gated by Amy Christine Parker

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Gated by Amy Christine Parker

Publisher: Random House Childrens

Release Date: August 6, 2013

Source: Gift from a friend

In the Community, life seems perfect. Lyla Hamilton believes she is one of the chosen. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pioneer invited her family to join the Community and escape the evil in the world. They've thrived under his strict, charismatic leadership. Now seventeen, Lyla knows certain facts are not to be questioned:
Pioneer is her leader.
Will is her Intended.
The end of the world is near.
Pioneer has visions of the imminent destruction of humanity. He says his chosen must prepare to fight off the unchosen people, who will surely seek refuge in the Silo, the underground shelter where the Community will wait out the apocalypse.
Lyla loves her family and friends, but a chance encounter with an unchosen boy has her questioning Pioneer, the Community--everything. She needs time to figure out the truth. But with Pioneer's deadline for the end of days fast approaching, time is the one thing she doesn't have. (From Random House Kids)


This book was insanely addictive and totally crazy. I was not at all ready for what I got when I went into reading Gated. I knew it was about some sort of closed off community with a leader like the ones you read about on the internet and hear in the news. I didn’t expect to really get invested in Lyla’s point of view and beliefs of what it was to live in the inside one of these communities.

Lyla and her family along with many others have been living in this community for years, separated from the rest of the world, somewhere in the middle of nowhere. They have this very convincing and often creepy leader that brainwashed them and have given up everything to live in this place because supposedly they are the chosen ones by some beings that speak only to this leader. It sounds absolutely crazy but while I was reading this and getting the backstory of it all, seeing how this people lived,  how they believed this man so deeply it kind of messed with my head too. I was halfway hoping that maybe everything he told them was true, and maybe the end of the world was coming for them, he was that convincing. Until of course things started going wrong for him and Lyla began having doubts herself. That’s when we started to see the real truth and the evil behind it all.

What was a little bit creepy too where the quotes we get on top of each chapter from other crazy real life leaders of communities in the past, it was chilling to read what these men were telling their followers and made this story much more scarier to read. I was afraid for these people’s lives and also angry at them because they didn’t want to see this guy for what he really was and kept blaming poor Lyla for everything. They were completely brainwashed and didn’t want to accept the truth, it was aggravating! Also, Lyla’s parents, man did they pissed me off! Especially the mom.. grrr! I wanted someone to slap some sense into that woman. This book just brought out lots of emotions on me that showed just how invested I was in the story. Even though it was scary to get into the lives of these people and their beliefs it was also very interesting and I highly recommend it if you want something new and completely out of the ordinary.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

In the After by Demitria Lunetta

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In the After by Demitria Lunetta

Publisher: HarperTeen

Released on June 25, 2013

Source: Edelweiss

Buy it:

Amazon | Indiebound | B&N

In what seems like an instant, Amy Harris's life is changed forever. They arrive and quickly begin killing off humanity one by one. No one knows how they got here—and even worse, no one knows how to stop Them.

Marooned in a high-security house, Amy manages to stay alive—and even rescues "Baby," a toddler she finds in an abandoned supermarket. For years they escape death, forging a bond as strong as sisters, until they are finally rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living on a former government research compound.

On the surface, New Hope is the happy ending Amy was looking for. She's even started falling for Rice, a handsome researcher she's become close with at the facility. But then she makes a shocking discovery. And staying in New Hope could mean losing her freedom . . . or her life.

With pulse-pounding narrow escapes and horrifying twists of fate, In the After is an action-packed dystopian page-turner that will keep fans guessing until each secret is revealed and every lie is uncovered.(from HarperTeen)

This book was exhilarating for me. From the very beginning In the After was a wild ride that never really slowed down to let me catch my breath, it’s non stop action from the start with crazy wild beings terrorizing the world and pretty much destroying humanity. We also get a kick ass main character that has to learn to grow up fast and become braver than she ever thought she could be.

I loved the relationship that she develops with baby, it was that little bit of hope in a dark apocalyptic world that made you hold your breath and root for these characters and become invested in them and the whole story. The book is cut into two separate parts, one that’s happening right after the big arrival of these beings where we get to know Amy and Baby and how they’ve been coping and living since then. Then we get a second part, that’s a bit of fast-forward where we see Amy has ended up in a not so favorable situation and we see through flashbacks and memories of why and how she ended up there. I was a bit more of a fan of the first part of the novel where it’s more of a survival situation, the second one became a little predictable and a few pages in I was able to figure out what and why these “beings” had appeared. Even though I figured out the whole thing I was still very much into this book and didn’t put it down until the end.

We do get a little bit of romance in this novel but I didn’t really care for it, it felt a little bit forced to me. I wasn’t a fan of the love interest and just felt like more of a distraction from the big plot of the novel. I just wanted Amy to get back into the whole action of it all. I loved her stubbornness and how she had become so strong and brave on her own, so protective and not only that but she was also pretty smart. The ending held the promise of a lot more of the fast pace action we get at the beginning of the novel even though it was a little heartbreaking and of course a huge cliffhanger. Still, I cannot wait for the sequel!

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